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Trails and Sails: Layers of Paint, Layers of History

Limited space remains! Email to RSVP!


SALEM — The House of the Seven Gables will offer an encore presentation of its popular lecture, Layers of Paint, Layers of History, during Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails event. This special lecture will take place Saturday, September 22, 10 a.m., at The Gables, 115 Derby St., Salem. Registration is required due to limited space. This event is free and open to the public.


Presenter Christine Thomson is one of the region’s foremost furniture and decorative surfaces conservators. She has an expertise in the study and treatment of painted, lacquered, gilded and varnished surfaces. In her lecture, she will talk about the importance and techniques of paint analysis in historic structures and share findings from research she did at The Gables in 2016.


Thomson will show how scientific material analysis techniques used by art conservators today can be applied to historic interiors to gain a more accurate period interpretation. She takes small samples from around a room to determine how the room evolved over time. The final report helps to guide restoration by documenting color schemes and advising on color choices.


Thomson provides services in architectural paint analysis for museums, historic sites and private homeowners. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, she apprenticed in woodworking and wood finishing in California before moving to Boston in 1988. She was Senior Furniture Conservator at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England) Conservation Center and Senior Conservator at the firm of Robert Mussey Associates in Boston. She is now self-employed in Salem, Massachusetts, and serves both museums and private collectors.


About The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to preserve The Gables’ National Historic Landmark and leverage its power as an icon of American culture to engage diverse audiences and provide education opportunities for the local immigrant community. For more information visit


In 2018, The House of the Seven Gables celebrates a singular milestone. Built 350 years ago, it is still a place where stories are made. Ever the provider of shelter and support, The House of the Seven Gables inspires us as it once inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne. Where sea captains once found their footing, immigrants become citizens, visitors explore period rooms, historians pore over archives, children frolic in the gardens, and authors find inspiration. Celebrate this milestone with us and make your own stories at The House of the Seven Gables.



Those interested may RSVP at; email; or call 978-744-0991, ext. 152.



Caption: Christine Thomson reprises her popular lecture on historic paint analysis on September 22 at The Gables.



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Date: September 21, 2018

Author: sperling

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